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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump unexpectedly raised the infrastructure ante in his State of the Union address last night:

I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need. Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment.

Bottom line: This totally changes the math, which already was questionable under assumptions of a $1 trillion plan based on a $200 billion federal outlay.

Even if you include new revenue from things like interstate toll-roads and assume increased velocity in private equity infrastructure fundraising, this reads like the White House wants more from a Congress that already would have struggled to cough up the smaller amount.

  • The Blackstone Group, a private equity giant led by former Trump economic advisor Steve Schwarzman, last May said it would raise a $40 billion infrastructure fund that included a $20 billion matching commitment from Saudi Arabia. Then Bloomberg reported in October that it was seeking $10 billion in non-Saudi commitments for its first close.
  • But a January document from the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement Board, which is committing $500 million, shows that first close target now is just $7.5 billion.
  • In other words, Blackstone would be starting with around $15 billion rather than $40 billion.

The Pennsylvania report also states:

The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that $3.3 trillion per year will be required globally to modernize existing assets and develop new infrastructure. In the U.S., the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates an approximately $2 trillion funding gap in U.S. infrastructure spending over the next 10 years. "

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

How the tech stock selloff is hurting average Americans

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investors holding the ultra-popular Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 index funds have been hard hit over the last two weeks as tech shares have been roiled by rising U.S. Treasury yields.

Why it matters: Even though the economy is growing and many U.S. stocks are performing well, most investors are seeing their wealth decline because major indexes no longer reflect the overall economy or even a broad swath of public companies — they reflect the performance of a few of the country's biggest companies.

2 hours ago - World

UN rights chief: At least 54 killed, 1,700 detained since Myanmar coup

A Feb. 7 protest in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

Police and military officers in Myanmar have killed at least 54 people during anti-coup protests, while "arbitrarily" detaining over 1,700 people, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Thursday.

Why it matters: Protesters have demonstrating across Myanmar for nearly a month, demanding the restoration of democracy after the country's military leaders overthrew its democratically elected government on Feb. 1.

3 hours ago - Health

The danger of a fourth wave

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Anomalous Arkansas case data from Feb. 28 was not included in the calculated change; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. may be on the verge of another surge in coronavirus cases, despite weeks of good news.

The big picture: Nationwide, progress against the virus has stalled. And some states are ditching their most important public safety measures even as their outbreaks are getting worse.